16 Must-see U.S. Landmarks That Celebrate Women’s History
In 1987, the month of March was officially designated by Congress for the celebration and acknowledgement of women’s history.
Even before the suffragists began marching in the streets in the mid-19th century, women have made their mark on history. The homes they left behind as well as the historic buildings that served as meeting places and convention halls are reminders of their presence and the roles they played in moving toward gender equality.
With International Women’s Day on March 8, not only are places like the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution joining in to celebrate women’s contribution to American history, there are several smaller sites around the U.S. that pay particular tribute to these historic women all year — and especially this time of year.
The monuments and museums dedicated solely to women’s history, though there are not many currently, serve to remind future generations of the power of women, how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go for equality. At these landmarks, anyone can join in to celebrate women whenever they wish, at any time of the year.
Women’s Rights National Historical Park, Seneca Falls, New York
This dedicated national park was established in 1980. The park connects to the Votes For Women History Trail, a route that connects important women’s historical sites in upstate New York. Many homes of several early suffragists, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Jane Hunt, are part of its grounds as well.
National Women’s Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls, New York
Created in 1969 at the very same city as the original 1848 Women’s Rights Convention, this museum honors more than 200 pioneering women in history. The Hall is currently housed in the Helen Mosher Barben Building, in the heart of the downtown Historic District.
Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument, Washington, D.C.
Named after Alva Belmont and Alice Paul, this former headquarters of the National Woman's Party was finally made a national monument by former President Barack Obama in 2016. It’s also one of the oldest historic mansions in the capital.
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, Richmond, California
This museum honors the female factory worker of the World War II era, most famously depicted as “Rosie The Riveter.” Visitors can explore the museum and park while learning about how helping the war effort was also a small boost toward gender equality.
Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell, Massachusetts
Commemorating the women who worked in textile mills during a time when very few women worked outside the home, these factories (now making up Lowell National Historical Park) in New England were an important step in helping women lead independent lives.
Susan B. Anthony House & Museum, Rochester, New York
This was the home of the legendary civil rights leader for 40 years, and the site of her famous arrest for voting in 1872. It was also headquarters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association while she was president. The museum also features an Anthony re-enactor.
Harriet Tubman Home, Auburn, New York
The home of the famous civil rights activist and suffragist originally belonged to New York Senator William Seaward, who sold the property to Tubman in 1858. Tubman had known Seaward because the home had been a station in the Underground Railroad. After buying the home, Tubman settled in Auburn to continue her life’s work.
The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, Cambridge, Maryland
Tubman played a vital role in American slave liberation by leading slaves to the free states in the North. After the Civil War, Tubman also became one of the first suffragists. This trail is a particularly important remembrance for civil rights history.
Kate Mullany House, Troy, New York
Mullany’s brick home in Troy looks like a simple residential building, but it holds so much history. Mullany was an Irish immigrant who founded the Collar Laundry Union, which was the first all-female union, in 1864. She also became vice-president of the National Labor Union later on.
Matilda Joslyn Gage Home, Fayettevillve, New York
Gage is all but unknown today but during her lifetime she was a key member of the women’s suffragist movement. She was a believer in egalitarianism and a women’s right to her own body, and Native sovereignty, as well as being an abolitionist. Her stately home was also a station on the Underground Railroad.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett House, Chicago, Illinois
This gorgeous gray stone house was once the home of this African-American activist and a co-founder of the NAACP. She was also one of the earliest female investigative journalists, and wrote important pieces on lynchings in the South.
Pauli Murray House, Durham, North Carolina
Pauli Murray, an early, prolific civil rights activist, co-founded the National Organization for Women as well as authored books on discrimination laws. Her childhood home, which is being petitioned to become a historic landmark by the Pauli Murray Project and National Trust for Historic Preservation, is currently being restored to its original state.
Clara Barton National Historic Site, Glen Echo, Maryland
Founder of the Red Cross, Clara Barton’s large, wooden home became a historic landmark in 1975. The house is also surrounded by a park where people can explore and attend events and learn about her life.
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, Richmond, Virginia
Maggie L. Walker, an African-American entrepreneur who managed to stay prosperous during the Great Depression. She ran a store, started a newspaper and started her own bank. Her home is still a beautiful, well-kept mansion and park that is open to visitors.
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site, Washington, D.C.
This townhouse is also the birthplace of the National Council of Negro Women and the home of its founder, an advisor to Franklin Delano Roosevelt as part of his “Black Cabinet,” and also known as “The First Lady of the Struggle.”
Rankin Ranch, Avalanche Gulch, Montana
Visit the home of the first female member of Congress, Jeanette Rankin, who was elected in 1916, before the 19th Amendment was even ratified. Rankin played an essential role in passing it.